Saturday, February 16, 2008

a tale of two cities, public broadcasting style

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Today's New York Times offers an interesting take on the fortunes and future of public broadcasting, both on TV and radio. It paints an interesting picture of two mediums on very different trajectories.

The average PBS show on prime time now scores about a 1.4 Nielsen rating, or roughly what the wrestling show “Friday Night Smackdown” gets. ... On the other side of the ledger the audience for public radio has been growing: there are more than 30 million listeners now, compared to just 2 million in 1980. “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered,” NPR’s morning and evening news programs, are the second and fourth most listened to shows in the country.